The Porphyry Blog congratulates the urban design and landscape architecture firm, James Corner Field Operations, on the recent announcement of their team’s selection to design the makeover of Navy Pier.  Porphyry paving stone should be considered in the final design based on its beauty, sustainability and freeze/thaw properties for the Chicago climate.

After a unanimous vote in favor of the JCFO Team, board members of Navy Pier, Inc. highlighted the fact that they were selecting a designer and not necessarily a completed design. Other ideas may be selected from the other four finalist’s submissions. The pier’s trustee, James Reilly, expressed his desire to execute the changes to the pier’s public spaces before its 2016 centennial. Officials hope that the redesign will boost the piers attendance and attract more visitors year-round.

JCFO Cover 

JCFO design concepts can be viewed at

James Corner Field Operations is a leading-edge landscape architecture and urban design practice. The firm, led by Founder James Corner, is an award-winning landscape architecture and urban design firm that has gained international recognition and acclaim. Among their projects is New York City’s High Line Park.  The team of over a dozen specialty firms includes local Chicago landscape architectural firm Terry Guen Design Associates.

The selection of design firm JCFO is an important part of the larger vision for Navy Pier called The Centennial Vision, which seeks to make the “People’s Pier a truly iconic and world-class destination as it approaches its 100th anniversary in 2016.

The public spaces JCFO has been chosen to redesign include Gateway Park at the west entrance of the Pier, Crystal Gardens, Pier Park, East End Park and the South Dock – along with smaller public spaces that dot the length of the Pier. This work will include enhancements to the Pier’s landscaping and streetscape along with the addition of water features, public art, and lighting.


Porphyry’s composition determines its high compression strength, resistance to stains, slip resistance, and high freeze/thaw ratings.  The stone is the most popular paver in Europe, and is favored for its flexibility in design, beauty, durability and low maintenance requirements. ADA Compliant Porphyry pavers are also adaptable to a permeable paving set. The stone is by far one of the most durable pavers in the world.  These materials are available from Milestone Imports.   –